Spa, Paw and Tail, a New Berlin, Wisconsin-based pet care facility is using new HVAC construction air purification technology to control odors, reduce energy bills and prevent any potential infectious airborne animal diseases.

Officials say the 10,000-square-foot facility, which accommodates up to 125 dogs and cats, incorporates cutting-edge odor control in its entrance area’s check-in, grooming and gift shop areas.

 “The sense of smell influences a customer’s first impression upon entering a pet business,” said Nina Race, president of Spa Paw and Tail. “Bad odors give the impression an establishment isn’t clean, even though it might be spotless from a sanitation standpoint.”

The 5-year-old pet care business has received recognition for its unique odor-control methods. It won a Milwaukee Magazine Reader’s Choice Award in the “pet establishment” category, and was named the 2013 Business of the Year by the New Berlin Chamber of Commerce.

 “Since installing the air purification equipment in our HVAC equipment, greeting and gift shop odors have been eliminated,” Race said.

Eight Apco air purification systems by ultraviolet HVAC sales equipment manufacturer Fresh-Aire UV were installed on each of four 7.5-ton rooftop HVAC construction systems manufactured by Carrier Corp., and controlled with Honeywell thermostats. All eight units were installed on four HVAC coils in less than one day.

The Apco system combines ultraviolet light and gas-phase carbon media/photocatalytic oxidation technologies to remove microbial and volatile organic compound contaminants, respectively. Aside from activating the photocatalytic process, the UV light also kills all types of airborne microbes as they re-circulate through the HVAC system.

 “We’ve never had health issues at our facility, but the incorporation of UV as an infection deterrent is a nice back-up,” Race said.

An additional benefit of the system is maintenance savings. Many experts say the dark, moist environments inside HVAC market equipment is an ideal breeding ground for microbes.

While the entrance area’s odors are gone, Race says air purification in the 5,500-square-foot guest room and indoor pet play area isn’t completely void of pet odors yet, although it’s much more bearable than before.  Even though it’s cleaned and sanitized twice daily, the area has a continual source of odors from newly arrived animals awaiting washing and grooming.            

Joe Petkus, president of Race’s mechanical service contractor Action Heating and Cooling, said the former warehouse’s basic supply and return ductwork layout isn’t ideal for the number of room air changes and ventilation distribution needed to use the air purification system’s full capabilities.        

Petkus is scheduled to design an HVAC construction retrofit of an adjoining 2,000-square-foot small-dog area by improving air distribution, incorporating air purification and adding three heat recovery ventilation rooftop systems by RenewAire LLC for energy savings.